Teacher shortage may force 4-day school week

The teacher shortage in the Netherlands is forcing more and more schools to opt for a four-day school week, De Telegraaf reported based on figures from the association of school leaders AVS.

The AVS surveyed a thousand of the 6,700 primary schools in the country. It found that one in five school principals is considering introducing a four-day school week. 

“The time for dividing classes and other piecemeal solutions are over,” AVS chairman Petra van Haren said to the newspaper. The shorter school week will mean that parents have to arrange alternative care for their kids for one day a week. This could get even more complicated if the off-day does not happen on the same day for all siblings in a family.

Teachers are also worried about catching up with learning arrears caused by the pandemic. “During this period, we want to make up for the backlog that arose in corona time, but that is not happening due to the tight staffing,” Van Haren said.

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Dutch law does not allow for a four-day school week. The Education Inspectorate and Ministry of Education are responsible for enforcing full-time education at all schools. 

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